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North Kinsman and South Kinsman Trail via Lonesome Lake and Appalachian Trail

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Franconia Notch State Park

North Kinsman and South Kinsman Trail via Lonesome Lake and Appalachian Trail is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 9.4 mi Elevation gain 3,248 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

Description
Waypoints (6)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

This trail will bring you past Lonesome Lake in an old glacial cirque, past Kinsman Pond to the Kinsman Peaks which are the highest in the range. Kinsman is an open summit offering good views but North Kinsman is wooded with some views to the east. This hike is the quickest and easiest way to get to both peaks in one hike. Park in the Lafayette Campground. Take the Lonesome Lake Trail north and turn left in the Cascade Brook trail until you reach the Lonesome Lake Hut (Operated by the AMC). You may want to rest there, and you can grab a snack, juice, or tea for a few bucks. Continue up into the Fishing Jimmy trail. At the four way intersection you want to continue north (left would take you to the shelter, and right would take you to Cannon Mountain (another popular destination)). Soon you will reach North Kinsman. You have to step east a few feet into the view to take pictures of the White Mountains. Continue the trail to South Kinsman. Retrace to return to your car. Some people combine this hike with Cannon Mountain into a longer hike. You can also do it as a backpack if you stay at the Kinsman shelter.

Franconia Notch State Park 603-823-9513

There is a $3 per day fee to park here.

Rt 93, Lafayette Campground Exit (Exit 34C). Follow signs to Lafayette Campground (reverse direction if coming from South), and park on the day use area.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (441)
Photos (1076)
Recordings (372)
Completed (994)
Ashley Brown
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Hiking
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Krzysztof Redziniak
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Hiking

I started 630am. never do this during rain and be careful after rain. it rained all night. I slipped 4 times in my trail runners. I also did cannon mountain once you come down kinsman. getting to cannon involves going up and through 4 humps or "cannon balls." however, the watch tower on cannon is the only and best thing out there. I ended like 430pm.

Melanie Sarna
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Hiking
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Jeremy Valcich
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Hiking

You’ll regret not going for a swim in Lonesome Lake to celebrate completing this trail! Water is available at the Hut, make sure you fill up before you head out. Kinsman Pond is also a really cool spot to hang out at for a bit. Very tranquil. We ate lunch near the summit of North Kinsman, with great views to the east. Parking is an issue given that you start near a campground.

Fabricio Fontanella
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HikingGreat!
Faye Palm
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HikingBugsScramble
View Faye's Recording
S L
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HikingGreat!

Great trail. Relatively quiet. Views were nice, but not as spectacular as Lafayette/Lincoln/Haystack.

View S's Recording
Jessica Bielkiewicz
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Hiking
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Barb Taylor
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Hiking

Beautiful, fun hike w great views just past South Kinsman. Kinsman Pond was worth the detour as well. Lonesome Lake quite crowded on way back.

View Barb's Recording
Mackenzie B.
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HikingGreat!
View Mackenzie's Recording
Richard Gordon
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Hiking

Bit more rugged than I was expecting. LOTS of green - trees, rocks, undergrowth. Some showers late made decent sketchy in some areas. Fantastic views from the lake!

William Dwyer
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HikingBugs
Newton Gal
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Hiking

Did this over the weekend - Saturday. The parking lot at exit 34 was full before 8 am and had to park at the exit 34 B and walked 2 miles to the base via Franconia notch bike path. Took the trail to lonesome lake - serious climb. Pretty crowded and many folks without masks. Lonesome hut is open for water and bathrooms. Clean and well maintained with friendly volunteers. We took the fishing jimmy trail to north kinsman from there and made it almost half way. This was a great hike but needs you to have a good strategy to navigate the rocky terrain. Almost felt like an obstacle course. Hard hike and you will need hiking poles and good shoes as most of the trail is wet and mossy. We did not have the poles and our group was tired so needed frequent breaks. had to turn back as we did not have enough time to complete the climb and return to the base. But really a great hike! Would love to come back sometime soon!

Lindsey Richelle
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Hiking

Difficult at times but a beautiful hike. Loved all the bog bridges and the trail work is phenomenal. Definitely rugged and relentless during parts, but the views are lovely and a dip in the lake at the end is refreshing. Not very muddy. No bugs. No bears!

View Lindsey's Recording
Jim DiPetrillo
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HikingGreat!MuddyRockyScramble

To get the most enjoyment out of this one, follow these 3 pieces of advice: 1) get there as early as possible and ideally not on a Saturday. Like all hikes around Franconia, it gets overcrowded quickly, and particularly this year when other entertainment options are closed. I got to the trailhead just before 6 and I was the only one at Lonesome Lake (which seems appropriate given the name) on the way up. 2) Bring trekking poles. The stretch between Lonesome Lake and North summit is constant up and down 20-30 foot ravines, with some brief scrambling required in certain spots. The rocks are slippery after heavy T-storms last night, and there are definitely spots that you need to be strategic about where to put that next step. That being said, masterful trail work has made the hike much safer and doable for an average Joe like me (thank you AMC). 3) take your time and enjoy the scenic spurs. There are multiple waypoints to enjoy, including Lonesome Lake, the cliff near North summit with nice views of Lafayette and Lincoln, and the lookout just past South summit. I was on the trail for around 8 hours including lunch at the South summit and a swim in Lonesome Lake, along with other stops / rests. The only bear I saw was Smokey, on the Kanc, warning us of moderate fire risk. Also, ignore my recording, I forgot to shut off my GPS after driving away (I cannot hike 80 mph).

Zachary Putnam
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HikingGreat!
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Deena M
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HikingMuddyRocky
Gordon Miller
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HikingRocky
View Gordon's Recording
Eliza Laycock
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Hiking

I would do this hike over many times just for Lonesome Lake. The trail up to the Kinsmans isn't too challenging (just a little slippery) and the ledge off to the left of North Kinsman is gorgeous too. There's a great lookout on South Kinsman if you continue through the first big cairn you get to on that summit. Highly recommend swimming in Lonesome on your way down!! Hut is open for bathrooms, water, and snacks for purchase. We recorded it at 10.5 miles and didn't see any bears. Just ducks at Lonesome.

Geoffrey Cole
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Hiking

Tough.

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Olivia Marie
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HikingBugs

This is a beautiful hike! Lonesome Lake is truly magnificent and Kinsman Pond was breathtaking. Views from North Kinsman are gorgeous. Go past the false summit on South peak for the views. Today was a hot, hazy, and humid day, took a refreshing dip in Lonesome Lake on the way back down. Took about 6 hours including breaks. Didn’t see any bears today. Recorded 12.2 miles.

Igor Stojanovic
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Hiking

Not an easy hike, fishing jimmy is steep and difficult up and down, and it’s 10+ miles. Still probably in my top 5 for NH4K’s, it’s so beautiful and can’t beat two lakes on the way. Swim after the hike was awesome.

Ben Parsons
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HikingBugsRockyScramble

Great day! Some scrambles and lots of bugs but no bear!

View Ben's Recording
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